Tractor Girls to face Huddersfield in FA Cup after historic victory over Pompey
PUBLISHED: 08:59 07 January 2020 | UPDATED: 09:00 07 January 2020
Paige Peake netted yet another free-kick as Town reached the fourth-round of the Women's FA Cup for the first time in their history after defeating higher division Portsmouth 1-0 at the Goldstar Ground in Felixstowe, writes Kieren Standley.
The game started incredibly tightly as both sides tried to establish a foothold. Neither side had come close to an opener until Abbie Lafayette's cross was almost turned into the net by Pompey defender Laura Ingram.
Natasha Thomas was next to go close for Town after driving inside from the left but she curled her effort wide of the post. However, the Tractor Girls finally got themselves in front after a foul on Anna Grey gave Town a free-kick in a dangerous area.
Peake swung the ball in from the left and the ball snuck through a host of bodies before nestling in the far corner.
Portsmouth failed to lay a glove on the Blues during the first-half, with Charmaine True striking the crossbar with an ambitious effort the only chance for the visitors.
Town began to take control after the restart and had a glorious chance to double their advantage just before the hour mark.
After a classy flick from Eloise King, Thomas raced through before attempting to pick out the arriving Amanda Crump but the former's squared pass evaded the Town skipper in the area.
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Moments later, Sophie Peskett was unlucky not to get herself on the scoresheet after catching the defender in possession, driving towards goal and forcing Hannah Haughton into an outstanding save.
The domination continued as this time substitute Maddie Biggs, who was making her return to the side from injury, broke through the Pompey lines but, after rounding Haughton, a brief moment of hesitation allowed the recovering Megan Tonks to block on the line.
As the game entered the latter stages, Portsmouth began to pile on the pressure but still failed to test Nikita Runnacles in the Town net.
The Blues would have two final chances to put the game to bed but both Biggs and Peake were denied by Haughton.
Referee Stacey Fullicks soon blew her whistle after a tense added-time period, sending the Tractor Girls, staff and fans into raptures at the Goldstar Ground.
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- Town will face Huddersfield away in the Fourth Round. The match is due to be played on Sunday, January 26th.
The Tractor Girls return to action this Sunday in a huge league game away at AFC Wimbledon.